Weather can have a major impact on construction projects. Property damage and employee injuries can add significant costs and extend project timelines. However, a strong contingency plan can help construction companies prepare for the unexpected. In section one, our Fort Myers contractor lawyers focused on weather conditions such as hot weather, rain, snow, and ice. In this last section, we will discuss hurricanes, lightning, and wind.
In Florida, hurricane season runs from June to November. A lack of awareness and preparation is a common thread among hurricane disasters. There are five different stages of a hurricane: a tropical storm, hurricane watch, hurricane warning, landfall, and after the storm. Construction companies can prepare for the worst by creating a written hurricane preparation plan and staying in communication with their local building departments. Next, secure the jobsite (e.g., tie down equipment and materials, move hazardous chemicals), monitor the weather regularly, plan for water removal, and secure the structures. Be sure that you have a post-storm plan in place as well.
Construction workers face a higher risk of lightning hazards than the general population. Lightning kills more people than hurricanes and tornadoes. A lightning strike can also cause significant damage to construction equipment. Protecting the jobsite and construction crews starts with understanding the risks of lightning strikes and reducing those risks. Educate workers on the risks of performing certain tasks such as steel erection, roof work, and equipment use. When lightning strikes, seek shelter in buildings, unplug electrical equipment, remove metal gear, have fire extinguishers on hand, and practice the 30-second rule.
Some hazards created by high winds are universal for many construction jobsites. These types of hazards include eye injuries due to flying debris or particles, being blown off of scaffolds or roofs, objects falling and striking workers, and slips, trips, and falls. When winds are extremely high, eliminate tasks that are dangerous. Cease lifting operation, wear safety glasses or goggles, never stand in the line of fire, and park trucks and equipment where the wind is blowing against the opposite side of where the operator exits and enters.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.